When we transported the piles of Temple Mount soil debris from their initial dumping sites, we hypothesized that the piles were not evenly and completely mixed, but rather were distributed like a lightly tossed salad, such that different piles would yield discernibly different distributions of finds. Therefore, from the outset of the sifting, we have been labelling each artifact with the identifying number of the heap it was found in. This strategy has paid off, as over the years the validity of the hypothesis has become more and more apparent, and we even developed a statistical methodoloy to reconstruct the context of the frequent finds before they were removed from the Temple Mount in 1999.
We’ve recently started sifting a new pile, designated KI10, which seems quite promising. A preliminary sorting of the artifacts recovered from this pile in just a few short weeks already shows three clay sealings (bullae), a medieval lead bulla, marvelous painted pottery, two rare pieces of Persian period pottery, an imported stone spindle whorl, a bronze nail and tack (we’ll tackle these in a future post), a fragment of a (Latin?) marble inscription, and much more. For those following our Facebook account as well, we’re sorry to announce that the camera we found, after cleaning, turned out to be bereft of film.
All this is just a taste of what you may find if you come and join us in sifting the KI10 pile. This pile is disappearing fast, so come visit us in the next few months to get your shot! Sign up today!